Allentown is encouraging walkers to join its Million Clicks for Million Hearts campaign!
At a late morning news conference in City Council Chambers, Mayor Ed Pawlowski, Allentown Health Bureau Director Vicky Kistler, members of the Allentown Board of Health and representatives of the Department of Parks & Recreation announced details of participation in a national program. It aims to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017.
Walkers can sign-up by obtaining a form from the health bureau or registering on the city’s website to receive a free key-tab. They then “click-in” at stations in Trexler and Andre Reed parks, in Lehigh Parkway, on the LifeTrail in Cedar Creek Parkway and at Ninth & Hamilton streets. Each time a walker “clicks-in,” their name is entered to win a monthly prize.
“We want to get people up and walking,” Pawlowski said. “Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Major risk factors are controllable, and walking is way to help.”
“The health bureau is committed to furthering the goals of the CDC’s Million Hearts initiative,” Kistler said. “Allentown is blessed with beautiful parks and a new cityscape. This is the perfect city for a program like Million Clicks for Million Hearts.”
According to Allentown Board of Health member Dr. Oscar Morffi, the benefits of walking have been known for centuries. “More than 2,400 years ago, Hippocrates said that walking is a man’s best medicine. I couldn’t agree more. Walking improves cardiac risk factors such as cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes and obesity.”
Board of Health member D. Paul Gross concurs. “Walking provides all the benefits of moderate exercise with a very low risk of injury. It helps prevent against depression and dementia and helps to counter mental stress.”
Participants can register by calling Ronya Nassar at the Allentown Health Bureau at 610-437-7581, or on the city website at www.allentownpa.gov/millionhearts. Questions can be addressed to Ronya.Nassar@allentownpa.gov.
The project is funded by the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant.